The Best of Provence

Physical rating: Active 

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From 16 years old - Group size: 6-10

Accomodation: Standard 

The best of Provence!

Day 1: ARRIVAL; Join Apt at any time
Arrive in "Apt" and stay in the 2 star "hotel Aptois”. The family run hotel is perfectly comfortable and well located, within walking distance of many restaurants and cafés. Apt is a market town and offers stalls with delicious food every Tuesday and Saturday morning. The real beauty of Apt is the old town, "vielle Ville" hidden behind the tall buildings. Its long, narrow streets wind in and out uncovering little alcoves waiting patiently to be discovered. Meet with your leader in the evening and try one of the many local restaurants.

Auberge des Seguins

Day 2: GUIDED WALK; Apt to Buoux
Very few walks offer so much variety as Apt to Buoux. Cross the "Claparèdes plateau" which is rich in limestone, providing building materials for walls and sheds. There is the spectacular "Bories" to feast your eyes on and the "Aiguebrun Gorges" with all its dense natural flora. Retire for the night in the "Auberge des Seguins", a beautiful example of stone architecture which is sheltered by high surrounding cliffs.
Dinner at the Auberge.
Ascent: 350 m, 10km (5 to 6 hrs including breaks).


May for the poppies!

Day 3: GUIDED WALK; Buoux to Apt
We will visit the magnificent ruins of the 13th Century "Buoux fort" overlooking the deep ravines of the Aiguebrun river. The view from the fortress is breathtaking due to its narrowness. We will explore "Baume", one of the largest natural caves located under the cliffs of Luberon, which was used as a shelter in prehistoric times. We will stop at a local vineyard and enjoy a glass of "Cote du Ventoux" before retiring for the night at "Hotel Aptois", dinner incl.
Ascent 150 m, 10km (5 to 6 hrs including breaks).



Day 4: TRANSFER TO CASTELLANE; Digne-Les-Bains visit

Transfer by bus to Digne les Bains (2 hours). This beautiful town with approximately 16,000 inhabitants, is the capital of the Aples-de-Haute Provence. The medievel town was once a popular stop over for Napoléon in the 19th Century. Digne is the main town, it has a compact centre with authentic local shops and artisan in a lovely setting. It is also in the heart of the lavender growing production area.

In the evening, transfer to Castellane and explore the town before dinner. Castellane is the entrance town to the Verdon Gorges.. Stay at the hotel du Levant.


The Verdon Gorges

Day 5: GUIDED WALK; Castellane - Chasteuil - Rougon
Today we will visit the heart of the Verdon gorges, a spectacular canyon that forms a border between the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the Var. The gorges runs from Castellane to the Sainte-Croix lake (21Km). "Rougon" is perched on a spur where the ruined medieval castle still overlooks the valley. We will stay the night at the local Gite "le Mur d'Abielle" in Rougon, to complete the experience in the gorges.
Ascent: 700m, 16Km (6 hrs 30 min including breaks).
Optional: Stay in the "Auberge du Point Sublime" (higher standard).

View from Rougon

Day 6: GUIDED WALK; Rougon, Point Sublime, Trigance
Today we will explore a majestic part of the "Verdon" gorges, the "Point Sublime" where we will be graced by a spectacular view of the turquiose river plunging into the narrow rock face. We will cross the river over the Tusset bridge and encounter a series of breathtaking sights. On arrival at "Trigance", we will discover the antique beauty of the medieval village. We will stay in the Gite "Fontaine Basse". Dinner incl.
Ascent: 600m, 10km (6 hrs including breaks).
Optional: Stay in the "Hotel le Vieil Amandier" (higher standard).

Trigance village

Day 7: GUIDED WALK: Trigance - Jabron Gorges - Castellane
For a truly memorable final day,  you will go across the "Verdon" river twice and then climb the "Pertuis de la Colle" pass where you can enjoy further views of the gorges and the "Jabron Valley". The descent back to Castellane is pleasantly mild as you will go through a preserved forest "Forêt Domaniale des Gorges du Verdon". You will spend the last night in the 2 Star "Hotel du Levant" in Castellane. There are many fine restaurants in Castellane.

Castellane town

Spend the last morning how you choose, maybe you can stroll around the the local market  for your last taste of "Castellane" culture.
Two transfers available to Nice:

  • Morning: bus to Digne-les-Bains then train to Nice (change over in Digne, lovely journey) (4 hrs 30 min).
  • Evening: direct bus to Nice (2 hrs).

Transfer to Marseille by direct bus and to Avignon by bus through Digne.

By plane:

-From Dublin access to Marseilles and Nice.
-From London access to Marseilles and Nice.

By high speed train

-Access to Aix-en-Provence from Paris "Gare de Lyon" train station & from Nice train station
-Access to Avignon from Paris "Gare de Lyon" train station

Regular bus shuttles from Marseilles airport to Aix en Provence city centre (bus station) and from Nice airport to Nice city centre (train station).

By public bus:
access to Apt:
-From Avignon TGV train station (4 departures daily except Sundays & bank holidays, one departure on Sundays)
-From Aix-en-Provence bus station (2 departures daily)
access to Nice and Marseilles from Castellane.

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